What makes these interviews so interesting is the varied backgrounds of each of them. Adina Senft belonged to a plain house church from the ages of 12 through 38. It's not Amish but holds very similar beliefs that she was able to draw on for her current Amish trilogy. So far, 2 of the 3 have been published. Book 1 is The Wounded Heart, and book 2 is The Hidden Life. Book 3, The Tempted Soul, will come out next March. If you have read my reviews of her 1st 2 books in the series, you will know that I enjoyed book 1 but really loved book 2. I'm looking forward to #3.
I met Adina at Barnes & Noble in The Pruneyard. She was, like so many other local authors, sitting at a table near the front door. She wasn't alone. She was sitting with Jasmine Haynes. I don't know if you can put 2 people together who write more different material. Adina writes about the Amish, and Jasmine writes erotic romance. Come on, when are you going to see that happen again? But they are friends and decided to present together. Maybe I shouldn't have read The Wounded Heart right after reading Past Midnight! Okay, just kidding.
Adina started writing at the age of 8 and actually wrote her 1st book at 13. She became a published author in 2003 when Harlequin signed her up, and she wrote 7 romance books for them. She began writing women's fiction and was picked up by FaithWords, a division of Hachette. These days, Adina is also self-publishing young adult steampunk novels (these are novels that have elements of science fiction or fantasy but that take place in eras where steam is still the main source of power) under the name Shelley Adina.
Writing is only one of her "jobs." She also copy edits, teaches in an MFA (master of fine arts) program, and costumes (that may not be a verb!). Her writing job takes up a lot of her time. She tries to write from 1-4 every day. Her goal is 2000 words in a day but not less than 1000. She writes 7 days a week and only one book at a time. Writing may be a job for her, but her love of the craft certainly comes through in her writing.
I have one complaint about the handling of Adina's books. When I went looking for one of her books, I was directed to the religious fiction section of the bookstore. To me, I hate to see her work pigeonholed like that. I believe it belongs in the literature/fiction section. There's a lot more than religion at work here. Sorry, Adina, that their classification is so limiting. She tells me that it's because her books are bought by the religion buyer for the chain, not the fiction buyer, but I think it's mis-categorized.